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Call Box: Atlantic Boulevard bridge over the Intracoastal getting a facelift

Posted: July 5, 2014 - 4:35pm
Sandy.Strickland@Jacksonville.com  This building with its dark brown distinctive conical roof started life as a Dutch Mill restaurant and ended up as a "pill mill." It's at 10157 Lem Turner Road in Riverview.
Sandy.Strickland@Jacksonville.com This building with its dark brown distinctive conical roof started life as a Dutch Mill restaurant and ended up as a "pill mill." It's at 10157 Lem Turner Road in Riverview.

Dear Call Box: What is the construction on the Atlantic Boulevard bridge over the Intracoastal? There’s all this equipment on the south side of the bridge off San Pablo Road.

H.H.

Dear H.H.: It’s a $2.5 million project to paint and refurbish the bridge, said Ron Tittle, spokesman for the Florida Department of Transportation. Work started in April and should be completed by summer of 2015.

Dear Call Box: There’s a distinctive-looking building in Riverview at 10157 Lem Turner Road. What can you tell me about it?

D.A.

Dear D.A.: The building with the dark brown conical roof shaped like a classic Dutch windmill has an intriguing, though briefly checkered, history. We searched old city directories and found the site listed as “under construction” in 1970 and 1971 and as “vacant” prior to that. In 1972, it was listed as the site of Hall’s Dutch Mill restaurant. We’re told by some who dined there that the mill once had blades but, if so, they no longer exist. By 1976, the property was listed as vacant.

From 1977-79, it was occupied by American Legion Post No. 9. From 1983 to at least 1996, it housed a psychiatrist’s office, according to directories. In early 2007, it was the headquarters for former City Councilwoman Denise Lee’s successful campaign to rejoin the council.

In April, it became the offices of what Jacksonville authorities called a “pill mill.” S&P Medical Clinic set up shop for seven months with a sign at the door saying “Walk-ins Welcome.” There were so many patients that they were told to take a number and have a seat, police told the Times-Union in November 2007. Many were prescription drug abusers, and others were drug dealers, with nearly half coming from Georgia, authorities said. Some drank beer in the parking lot while waiting to get in.

Pharmacists and residents complained about the clinic for months. On several occasions, detectives posed as patients and discovered that prescriptions and drugs were sold for cash and often didn’t involve exams or medical records, the Times-Union reported. Police shut down the clinic and arrested four people, a pathologist, physician’s assistant, the assistant’s son-in-law and the clinic co-owner. In 2013, the Times-Union story said that David Maurer, the retired pathologist, pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in hydrocodone. Under a plea agreement, he gave up his medical license, got 10 years of probation and agreed to testify against the other defendants. The clinic co-owner, Electus Pete Slater, previously pleaded guilty to money laundering and got two years’ probation. According to the Times-Union’s May 2013 story, the other two still faced criminal charges.

The building now looks to be vacant, and no trespassing signs are posted.

Dear Call Box: I was reading an old Call Box article on driver’s licenses and the need to have a Gold Star in the future. My driver’s license is coming due in July, and I was wondering if it can still be renewed by mail or online. In other words, can I mail my driver’s license in and still get one in July 2014?

T.R.

Dear T.R.: Yes, you can if you meet the following requirements:

■ Your last driver license renewal was done in person.

■ You are not renewing a commercial driver’s license.

■ You are a U.S. citizen.

■ Your Florida driver’s license has not been suspended, canceled or revoked.

■ You have not legally changed your name.

You did not leave a phone number so we don’t know your age. But if you are 80 or older, you must either come to an office and pass an eye exam or have your eyes examined by an eye doctor and submit the results on a prescribed form, said Sherry Hall, chief administrative officer for the Duval County Tax Collector’s Office. You must also be within 18 months of current license expiration, which you have said you are. If a license is expired for more than a year, it cannot be renewed by mail, Hall said. If expired less than a year, a $15 late fee is charged, she said.

To determine eligibility for online services, motorists can visit https://services.flhsmv.gov/virtualoffice.

Submit questions by calling (904) 359-4622 or mailing to Call Box, P.O. Box 1949, Jacksonville, FL 32231.

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